Schipul attends SugarCon 2011

Last week SugarCon 2011 was held in San Francisco, and Schipul was out in full force! SugarCRM is the customer relationship management system that Schipul uses to track all of our client activity. If you’ve ever talked with us or have a site with us right now, we’ve got you “in the system” where we can keep tabs on all the projects going on and make sure you’re getting the client love! SugarCon is a great way for us to interact with others using the system and learn about the cool things they’ve done, as well as learn about new enhancements for the system and hear from technology partners. It also gave the crew some time to hang out with me!

I asked everyone for their thoughts on what was their favorite part of the conference, and two common threads emerged – one, we all loved hearing from HubSpot’s Brian Halligan and Capgemini’s Laurence Buchanan on “Marketing in the Age of Social“. It may be the only time that Comic Sans actually worked for a slide presentation. Additionally, it was exciting to see how different users and companies are customizing the software and expanding the functionality. Here at Schipul, we’ve worked with our SugarCRM provider Epicom to create some custom reports and functionality, like our client portal – but we’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of all that is possible. One of the great things about SugarCRM is that as an open-source solution it can be extremely powerful as folks create new mods and plugins, versus trying to bend a rigid system to do what they want. A lot of “a-ha” moments were reported by the group. As geeks we are totally fascinated by tech and code!

Michael from Epicom meets John-Michael from Schipul

We were also treated to a special private performance of Beach Blanket Babylon, which is the longest running musical revue in history! Pretty cool to get an intimate  performance  by the cast, and even more cool was the custom songs they created for the Sugar crowd! The cast came out as everyone from Snow White to Elvis  Presley, and had the vocals to match. We sat up front to be close to the action and took as many photos as we could until Aaron’s cell phone died. (Then we moved on to mine)

Finale performance

All in all it was an educational and fun week for the group, and was a nice visit with the folks back home for me. Y’all come back soon now, ya hear?

Kicking off the new Silicon Valley office with IABC!

The Schipul Silicon Valley web design office officially opens today, but in true Schipulite fashion, we just couldn’t pass up the chance for a party! Last Thursday we were proud to sponsor the IABC Silicon Valley March Madness Mixer, which was held at the gorgeous new Brocade Executive Briefing Center.

Despite the rain (yes, it rains in California, and in fact has been doing so since I arrived 2 weeks ago!) the mixer was attended by a large crowd excited to see old friends and make new connections. As an added bonus, local photographer Anne Knudsen was on hand to take new headshots for IABC members! Given that I was wearing the same dress my last headshots were taken in, I passed on this opportunity but kicked myself for it.

For two hours, folks mingled with the crowd, sampled a delicious assortment of snacks and tried a variety of Destino Wines. There were giveaways galore plus a tour of the new Brocade center and a look at all the hi-tech screen technology that went in to it. We’re talking about serious screens here folks – the kind that would put your neighbor’s Super Bowl party to shame!

An example of just one of the awesome new screens at Brocade

It was a great night and we couldn’t be happier to kick off our new expansion with a group like IABC. We’ve long enjoyed working with the Houston chapter and are excited about getting involved with the Silicon Valley and San Francisco groups as well. Much thanks to the entire IABC Silicon Valley board for welcoming us to the area, and to the wonderful folks at Brocade for hosting the event and being awesome in general. All these great folks making us feel right at home. 🙂

Check out more event photos online over at the SV IABC Facebook and Brocade Facebook pages!